As reported by ESPN, prosecutors allege that Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird strangled a woman at least a dozen times over a four-hour period last Friday.
The woman told police that Bird strangled her and threw her against a wall, strangling her until she went “limp,” allowing her to catch her breath before choking her again. He also kicked her in the stomach and shut her in a bathroom. She was able to leave when he passed out with “seizure-like” symptoms.
He has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery of a family or household member, kidnapping and strangulation, and has pleaded not guilty.
In a statement, Bird said: “I’m taking some time away from the team as I deal with my legal and medical issues. I apologize to my family, the Celtics organization, my teammates, the fans and the NBA for the unnecessary distraction that I have caused. The information that has been released does not tell the full story. I do not condone violence against women. I am hopeful that in due time and process, I will be able to regain everyone’s trust.”
The Celtics said: “Most importantly, our thoughts are with the victim of this incident. The Celtics organization deplores domestic violence of any kind, and we are deeply disturbed by the allegations against Jabari Bird. Pursuant to Domestic Violence Policy in the NBA’s labor agreement, matters of this kind are handled by the League Office, not the team, and so the Celtics will be working with both the league and local authorities to assist in their ongoing investigations. The team will have no further comment at this time.”
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